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    Old 03-09-2003, 07:19 AM   #1
    winged phantom
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    Post Types of neck braces

    I thought I might start a new thread or two. The other day I thought someone here was in Miami, until I realized that the Miami JTO is a brace, and a big one at that. Then there is the Aspen. And of course, the soft cervical collar, which you can even buy at the store. Those are the only ones I know.

    What types of collars are you in? How does your doctor decide which to use? I'm assuming you have to be measured and fitted for the hard collars? How long are you all supposed to wear yours?

    I'm not sure which I'll have, but he said I'd be in a hard collar for 6 weeks, as I'll be plated at three levels.

    Thanks for your answers.
    wr
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    Old 03-09-2003, 07:31 AM   #2
    BWL
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    wr-

    I had a single level fusion with plating. My doctor uses an "optional" soft collar post-op. SInce you have immediate stability with plating he feels the collar is not really required other than as a reminder. Again, I had a single fusion.

    Since you're having 3 levels done (show-off) I can see why the hard collar, but I know next to nothing about them. You have to like the names though, "Miami," "Aspen." All design to put lovely images of thes places in your mind.

    Good luck
    Bruce

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    ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)
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    Old 03-09-2003, 09:18 AM   #3
    winged phantom
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    Are you saying, vacation here I come? rofl
    Hey, I really don't want to show off, bwl, believe me! I am scared to death of more down-time, and it didn't even hit me until last week. I've already had 3 1/2 weeks of down time and no driving. I can really be a home body at times, but this is already too much. I'm hoping you guys can hold my hand through this... and wrestle me into surgery if you have to.
    Thanks,
    wr
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    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
    Old 03-09-2003, 12:09 PM   #4
    Nanner
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    Am I the only one who used a Marlin collar? Very similar in style to the Miami, but with scales and a very pretty blue color (just kidding on that last part).

    For those who are awaiting surgery, a good tip is to get a hard collar with removable pads. Mine were held in place by Velcro, and with two sets of pads you can change out (or rather, your "assistant" can) the wet pads for dry after you shower. Very handy!

    ------------------
    Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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    Old 03-09-2003, 12:12 PM   #5
    Nanner
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    WR, I was in the Marlin for about 7 weeks following a single fusion. Just the collar, no brace. Missed that part of your questions the first post.

    ------------------
    Nancy D-ACDF C6-7 on 6/7/02. Donor bone with no hardware
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    Nancy D-ACDF 6/2/02, bladder suspension 12/06, sarcoidosis 10/07, TKR 9/3/13

     
    Old 03-11-2003, 12:37 PM   #6
    philly collar
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    Hey winged phantom,
    I have a philadephia(sp)collar.Ridgid foam with plastic inserts.Told to wear it for 6 weeks except at nite when sleeping.
    ACDF c6/c7 cadaver bone 03/03/03
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    Old 03-11-2003, 01:24 PM   #7
    Debbie2
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    I had the soft collar for sleeping after the second night. The Maimi J I wore for a week. It's an awesome collar as far as collars go. It has to be fitted for you, but it too had washable pads and was easy to use. I used it for a week or more (the more was me not the doctor) and I also used it when in the car, for my personal paranoia.
    The Miami JTO is an evil mean sick brace that covers your entire neck and chest and who knows, even your knees. Barb123 wore it and her story is a nightmare, until she took control and took it off. Found new doctors, etc...
    She's a dear and you really should go back and read her posts if you want to feel "collar good"...
    The plain old Maimi J is what I recommmend to anyone. I also had a philly collar, that I woke up in. They let me take it home and my collar man cut it up so I could use it in the shower.
    Didn't need to wear a collar in the shower, but again, I was so paranoid that the glue on my neck was going to pop open and my hardware was gonna come falling out of my throat. When you don't know what to expect, it's a riot what you mind will do for you.
    So, please don't be afraid, us old hats did that for you.
    Debbie2

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    Debbie2
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    Old 03-11-2003, 05:56 PM   #8
    SherryElaine
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    Wing
    I have an Aspen neck brace and I am to wear it for 2 weeks. I also have a pink philly hard foam type to wear in shower. The foam one does not fit me good and I think I am going to cut out a space in the chin area so it fits me better. I was not fittied for it but it was handed to me on way out of the hospital and was told to wear it when showering... Wing you sound like me. I just about needed someone to wressle me into surgery. I put my surgery off for nearly 2 years. I have to say BWL and Soreneckman and Debbie and Jeanie and Renee helped me keep my spirits up until the day I went in.......
    I did not even tell many people in person that I was going to have surgery cause I have learned the less you tell the less negative you hear back. I needed a positive attitude. I still have not told my sister yet. She was against it when I mentioned it to her months ago so I am waiting until I am better before I tell her I had the surgery. I did not even tell my son either cause he is a negative person also. So It was just me and the people on here and my husband and my best friend that went thru this with me..... I will be there for you too.....

    ------------------

    Sher
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    Sher
    Anterior Cervical Fusion w/donor bone & w/plating C5/6 Done March 6-2003

     
    Old 03-12-2003, 11:13 AM   #9
    BarbS123
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    Hi WR,

    Debbie is making me famous!!! (Hi Deb )

    Yes, I wore the Miami JTO, which as you can see from my signature, I dubbed the EVIL KILLER CONTRAPTION. Unlike to others here on the boards, I had to wear that thing 24 hours a day 7 days a week with NO breaks at all! (As Debbie2 said, you can check my posts. Do a search for BarbS123 (Debbie forgot the S) and have fun. You will probably find some interesting reading!

    I searched and searched for weeks, both here and elsewhere, for just ONE other person with a JTO, but there was no one! So you are probably safe!! And as for the collar, I don't really think you'll have much of a choice. I'm pretty sure that your surgeon will prescribe the collar he or she wants you to wear and give you instructions on how much and how long to wear it.

    If you have any questions, just ask away!!! Good luck!

    http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif
    Barb



    ------------------
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!
    __________________
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

     
    Old 03-19-2003, 01:36 PM   #10
    winged phantom
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    I kept thinking about what they would put me in, so I just called the doctor's office and asked. One person said he often used the Miami-J. But the secretary who would probably know more was more evasive and merely said I would probably wake up with a collar, and yes, it would have extra pads. It sounded like I would wear it day and night.

    Nanner,
    I absolutely loved your comment about your (Blue) Marlin collar! I'll bet you were quite fetching in it! The part about the extra set of pads sounds like very practical advice, which is why I asked. Seeing as it's getting hot here in Florida, I wanted something I could change after I get out of the pool.

    Philly, it must have been nice to get out of the collar at night. Or did you find that it was better to wear it 24/7? http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

    Debbie2, thank you for your comments about the Miami J. That certainly helps my frame of mind! But then you said this: "...I was so paranoid that the glue on my neck was going to pop open and my hardware was gonna come falling out of my throat." Yikes! I'm sure whenever I take off my collar, I'll be thinking of that! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif

    Sher, I'm sorry you did not get much support from your family and friends for your surgery; they cannot know what it is to walk in your shoes. I think even though they disagreed, they should have been there for you. I hope things are better now. Certainly many more people have found out that you had it done. At any rate, we're always here. Isn't this board a Godsend? I'm planning on being here a few more months, at least. Actually, I'm telling everyone. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/gabby.gif That way I'll know I can't back out without a really good reason. Thank you for your support; it's invaluable to me.

    Hi Barb! So you're the infamous one with the JTO! Sounds a bit like a car, and I'll bet you probably felt as if you were wearing one, too. But a corpectomy? Isn't that where they remove the vertebra? I'm coming up blank on good websites for that. But I hope you're feeling much much better now and are able to get out and move around.

    wr
    __________________
    • 12/29/89 C5-6 Microdiskectomy (no fusion)
    • 4/9/03 ACDF C4-7 with plating and donor bone

     
    Old 03-19-2003, 01:55 PM   #11
    Debbie2
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    Hi WT...
    Nothing will fall out if you shower, remember I had a paranoia disorder that I would like to prevent you from having. Like the driving Bruce can relate to ... I remember my husband telling me to relax and turn around because I was always turned looking out the back window when we drove, waiting for a fender bender. But I always wanted to be safe than sorry. Anway, here is the answers to some of your other questions ... they are from BARBS123 posts I did a search on. I know Barb won't mind...

    I don't think Barb would mind so I cut and past a few items from her stories on past posts. The first explains the corpectomy, she was a wealth of information on this subject:

    "I had an anterior cervical corpectomy, which involved the removal of the entire vertebral body as well as the discs above and below."

    Then more of her personal story in detail... if you would be in need of some light reading is:

    ------------------

    My story is kind of weird. For the LONGEST time, my left hand has been pretty numb most of the time, and VERY numb some of the time. (My right hand numbs up on me pretty often, too.) Then, several months ago, my left ARM started acting up. Sometimes, there was numbness, sometimes pain, sometimes weakness. I attributed it all to the MS.
    The numbness was getting worse, so when I saw my neurologist in August for my regular MS 3-month follow-up, I mentioned it to him. He told me that not everything is from the MS and told me to come in for an EMG; he wanted to test me for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I scheduled an appointment for the EMG and had the test on Aug. 21. (It's not often that you go for a test and hope it turns out positive, but this is how I felt; I figured that CTS was fixable, whereas numbness from MS wasn't.) Anyway, before I left his office, he told me that sure enough, I had a pretty bad case of CTS in both hands, worse, of course, in the left. I left his office feeling pretty good.
    A couple of weeks later, I had my regular visit with my internist. I asked him how long after one started splinting for CTS should it be before improvement could be noticed. He said, "Not long." Well, not only was the CTS not improving, but it seemed that the numbness in the left arm was getting worse!! The doc suggested I look into surgery for the CTS, and I agreed and put it on my schedule to call a doctor for that. But I never got the chance.
    On Sept. 4, I had to carry VERY heavy cases all over one of the campuses where I teach. (That's another story--a long one. It can wait for another time.) Anyway, by the time I got to my classroom, I was in a lot of pain. By that night, I couldn't lift my left arm all the way above my head. By the night after that, I could raise it even less, and by the next day, it was virtually paralyzed. I called the neurologist and got an emergency appointment for Monday evening (9/9). He examined me and then told me to get an MRI and to come in for an EMG. After getting the MRI results that Friday (9/13), he asked me when the EMG was scheduled, and when I told him it was for 9/18, he said, "Come tomorrow instead." On Saturday, the EMG showed that my arm was DEAD! The MRI report showed SEVERE compression of the nerve root at c4/c5. He told me to see a surgeon. I called on Mon. 9/16, saw her on 9/17, and had the surgery on 9/19. No time to react! Apparently, the compression was so severe that they were afraid of permanent paralysis.
    So for me, Spimo, what I thought was MS was really a cervical problem, compounded by MS AND CTS. I had a triple whammy! But the MRI confirmed that it was definitely cervical--remember, MS symptoms are caused by lesions in the BRAIN.
    Funny thing is that I started wondering if I really had MS after all. Many of the MS symptoms DID disappear after the surgery, and as you said, the symptoms are SO similar. I asked the neurologist about this in November, and he assured me that I still do have MS. (Remember, I had the positive MS tests to prove it!) It's just that the Avonex is working! (Silly me, I was kind of happy when my leg started burning again. It's not that I WANT MS; I just didn't want to think that I was living with a misdiagnosis.)
    My suggestion to you is to make sure that a cervical problem definitely DOES exist, but then, before you have surgery, get a second (and even third) opinion. Some cervical problems might not require surgery; they might be treatable in other ways. Also, speak to your MS neurologist about this. Make sure he communicates with the neurosurgeon, and don't agree to surgery unless he agrees, too. Finally, see if you can post to Belle from New Zealand. (Her name is something like Belle50; I can't remember exactly, and if I go look for it now, I'll lose everything I've typed here. Oh-I know. After I post this, I'll go find her name and post it for you.)



    ------------------
    Debbie2
    ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
    September 4, 2002.
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    Old 03-19-2003, 02:09 PM   #12
    BWL
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    Barb (via debbie),

    What a frightening experience. I never really thought about it, but I could see how a doctor might be tempted to use the MS as a scapegoat for anything and everything. That's quite a story and it sounds like you are very lucky indeed.

    Bruce

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    ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)
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    Old 03-21-2003, 07:43 AM   #13
    BarbS123
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    Hi Bruce, WR, and Debbie,

    Deb, you're right. I don't mind at all that you copied and pasted my post. Feel free to do it any time!!!

    WR, I later found out that I had a combination corpectomy/discectomy. I think they might have taken part, rather than all, of my c-4 and c-5 vertebrae, along with the C4-5 disc. (They might have taken the entire vertebrae, but I'm not sure.) In any case, corpectomy definitely involves removal of the vertebral body; discectomy is removal of the disc.

    Bruce, to quote my neurologist "Not all that glitters is gold, and not all that tingles is MS." I am very lucky to have such a wonderful doctor. The neurosurgeon was another story! She is MEAN!!!!!!!

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    Lots of love,
    http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif
    Barb

    ------------------
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

    [This message has been edited by BarbS123 (edited 03-21-2003).]
    __________________
    Anterior Cervical Corpectomy/Diskectomy); own bone from left iliac crest; titanium plate with 4 screws. Freed myself of Evil Miami JTO (not just J) killer contraption against surgeon's orders (and happy I did it!!!!)
    Rebellion worked--I'm free with the surgeon's blessing now! YIPPEE!!

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 11:07 AM   #14
    TropicalFox
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    Barb...

    What en experience! I'm having a double whammy next week too (anterior corpectomy & discectomies) and have the pleasure to look forward to a posterior operation to get at the rest of them after recovering from the anterior one.

    How big was your incision? Has it healed well? I'm still trying to cope with the possibility of losing my voice or having permanent damage to my vocal cords. I sing in church (plus to my children and grandchildren!) so I'm a bit concerned about this.
    Di your Miami JTO from hell inhibit its healing in any way? I have a Miami J that I'll be strutting around in but I have no clue as to how it will feel after surgery. Of course I would have preferred on with purple inserts but I guess the company that makes them has no idea what true fashion is. How dare they not make them in a patient's favorite color?! I just might dunk the whole thing in RIT dye!

    Thanks for sharing your experience Barb.

    Sandra >>>>looking around for her keys to go buy some dye for her collar<<<<

    ------------------
    " In the middle of every ocean of difficulty is an island of opportunity."
    Author Unknown

     
    Old 03-21-2003, 11:10 AM   #15
    TropicalFox
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    Unhappy

    I think my brain is having one of its "lighter" moments. I see myself typing the letters correctly but when I read my posts, I have typos!

    Maybe it's that menopause I keep praying for!

    Sandra

    ------------------
    " In the middle of every ocean of difficulty is an island of opportunity."
    Author Unknown

     
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